Retirement of Sachin Tendulkar: The beginning of an end
November 15, 1989, the day the Sun rose to give light to the cricketing world. At the tender age of sixteen, the age at which some children will be busy preparing for their secondary exams and some busy surfing on their telly to watch their favourite cartoon shows, this kid represented the Indian cricket team at the senior level.
On this day, God’s own incarnation, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the sixteen-year-old Mumbaikar made his international debut for India in a green top at Karachi against a fearsome Pakistani bowling attack that included Imran Khan, WasimAkram, Abdul Qadir and debutant Waqar Younis.
Even before making his international debut, he announced his arrival to the cricketing arena by smashing four sixes of legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir and breaking a dressing room windowpane during a practice match in Peshawar.
Before turning sixteen, Sachin along with his close mate Vinod Kambli put together a record 664-run partnership in a Harris Shield game and Sachin went on to score a hundred each in his Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Irani Trophy debut. No wonder he was introduced to international cricket at such a young age.
In the third match of his debut tour, he got hit on the nose by a Waqar Younis delivery. His nose bled but he got up and simply stroked away his next delivery to the boundary. When he returned to the pavilion after getting out, the entire press box including the senior journalists got up and accorded him a standing ovation.
As the days passed, the wonder kid got mature and took the team’s responsibilities on his shoulders. He scored his maiden international hundred against England in Old Trafford and earned a lot of praise from the British press who are not known for praising players from other countries.
By 1991, he achieved the status of superstardom and his fan base started growing all over the world. All of a sudden there was a strange feeling among many cricket fans in India that “there is nothing beyond Sachin Tendulkar on a cricket field” as he won hearts of millions of people with his awesome and breath-taking performances.
He was made the skipper of the Indian team aftermath the semi-final slump in the 1996 World Cup. He didn’t have a great stint as the skipper but his batting excelled nevertheless.